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“Great budget place in Playa del Carmen”

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Hotel Magic Express
Ranked #160 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed September 11, 2008

We were planning to stay for only one or two night and end up with a total of four nights. We book it after reading the reviews and I have to say it is a budget hotel in Playa del Carmen. We have a car so we had no problem in driving around and the distance was not an issue.
We had wireless internet at no extra charge as well as the use of the safe in room.
The place is ok and they provide you for anything extra such as towels right away, even though the towells are very old and room need some touches of paint and perhaps change some head showers, but the water pressure is very good.
Too bad they did not have hair dryer in the room... I forgot mine.
The continental breakfast is very basic and light and served in disposable plates but still you get something to get ready for the day.
For the location it is very quiet and you can sleep with no problem. They have parking lot and is very safe.
They have a bar with a very decent selection and a variety of places where to eat, not on site, but again we have our car.
We did not use the pool since we spend more time on the beach or visiting other places.
We had a good time and it served our purpose so definetely we'll come back.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank joferto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 29 of 227 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2008

First impression of this hotel was good. It looked very new and clean. We used the safe and were only charged $3 for the entire week because we had some problems programming the code. Free shuttle was a big help. It saves a $5 cab ride into 5th Avenue where all the shopping, restaurants, and beaches are. Rogelio (shuttle driver) was very nice and took us wherever we needed to go. There was almost no wait at all. I wish we were a little closer to the action on 5th avenue and may consider staying there next time to save on all the cab rides back and forth but if you don't like a lot of noise, then this hotel is great. The pool was probably the worst part. I love to have a big nice pool so at first this was a disappointment but by the end of the trip I never used the pool and found that with all the beautiful baches and tours I was too busy to think about the pool!

PDC seemed to be in the middle of everything. In a week we visited La Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, and Cancun. Definitely try taking the colectivos (vans) that pick you up along the main highway and drop you off right in front of your hotel. It is cheaper sometimes. For example we took a colectivo all the way from Cancun back to PDC for 35 pesos or $3.50 per person. Must do tours are ferries to Cozumel and La Isla Mujeres for snorkeling. I never really snorkeled before and it was so easy. The views of all the beautiful fish was gorgeous! Chichen Itza is a must to see the ruins. Also go to Hidden Worlds to do underground cave snorkeling in the cenotes. Ask for Skinnyman - they will take care of you! Cenote Ikkil was like something out of a movie - also another cave for swimming. Overall it was the best week I've had in a long time. All the locals and the staff at the hotel were so nice and helpful. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank bidibidibombom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2008

I'm not sure why this hotel received some bad reviews... it is what it is... a budget hotel, and a good one at that! I've done budget hotels and nice hotels (e.g. the Ritz in Maui), and I think that as long as you have your expectations set, then you will be fine. Besides, with you're on vacation in a beach laden place, you only need the hotel for showering and sleeping! In any case, some pros and cons to help people decide:

CONS:
* The walls are thin... so as everyone else suggests, request a room away from the elevator (and the ice coolers at the end of the halls)
* Even with A/C, the air tends to be a bit humid... we brought our own beach towels and after the first use, they were never fully dry again!
* Breakfast is terrible
* No food available for any meal aside from breakfast, and only pizza to be delivered
* Shuttle only ran from 7am to 7pm, and only did drop offs, not pick ups

PROS:
* If you want to rent a car to drive around and check out the ruins (we did Coba and Chichen Itza in one day), there is a Budget rent a car place about 5 mins walking distance away
* The shuttle did drop us off at various places aside from the strip
* the receptionists and bartender were very nice
* hotel is new and clean
* can rent internet (about $2.50 an hour)
* they will lend your beach towels (but you need to put down a $50 deposit)
* you have the option of using the safe in the room
* good security
* $5-10 cab ride away from main areas (returning there at night)
* price was good
* there is a small gym in the hotel

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WannaBeTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2008

Well, it's new so it's clean, but our shower was broke and you couldn't order a movie, that was broke too. Pretty good wireless connection though. Bed was half way comfortable, but the elevator dinging can be heard throughout the whole floor. Also, their construction consist of tile floors in the hallway resulting in late night arrivals with high heels click click clicking to their rooms making you think you've been transported back to the fairy tale of billy goats gruff. Thin walls, but nice staff and the "breakfast" is kind of a joke, some stale pastries, juice, toast and frosted flakes, but clean dining room. The hotel is right at the start of town, it's easy to blow by, so be careful if your driving into Playa from Cancun airport, it's on your right and the sign is small, just about directly across from the V.W. dealership. It will be interesting to see how this holds up over the years, but right now it's a nice respite from the high prices in the Playa area.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank appraiser95969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2008

The hotel was in a good location, although it's such a shame it was not nearer to the beach and 5th Ave, however, the hotel does provide free transportation between 7am and 12 noon to the beach and other locations such as Plaza's, conference centre's etc.

The pictures of the rooms, pools etc is accurate, the rooms could be a bit larger but was adequate and extremely clean, & were kept clean throughout our stay.

The staff were friendly and bi lingual, very approachable and helpful. I went with my mother and son and even although mostly business people stay there, they catered for our family well.

P.S. try not to get a room near the lifts, or generators as they were noisy & we had to move room due to this noise. However, they were very efficient in moving us.

I would most definately stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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Thank busybeemc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at Magic Express for a week at the beginning of February. Overall the experience was a good one. Here are some things that you might want to take into consideration when staying at this hotel:

The hotel is a very far walk from the beach. When we arrived we took the bus from the airport in Cancun to the bus station on Avenida Quinta. We made the mistake of walking to the hotel from the bus station. It was hot and it was humid and we couldnt find any street names and were exhausted after lugging our bags to the hotel. Save yourself the hastle and take a cab ride for $5 US from the bus station. The hotel itself is located on a major highway and there is a big brick wall seperating it from the sketchy neighborhood a few feet behind it. I dont recommend walking around the back of the hotel at night.

The hotel and our room were very clean. Our room had a very high ceiling and two double beds (we couldnt get a room with a single bed). The tv was an LCD screen, (a bit small but it did the trick), The bathroom was really clean (the shower is stand up). The room was cleaned every day. The mattresses on the beds felt very hard the first night, but we got used to them after that. We paid a minimum charge for a room safe for our valuables which I highly recommend.

Breakfast: Very repetitive. I was getting tired of eating croissants, and muffins all the time. On the bright side its free and I learned how to say Chocolate Frosted flakes in Spanish "Choco Zucharitos".

Free Shuttle:I didnt know this until I got there but the hotel offers a free shuttle van anywhere in the downtown Playa del Carmen/Playacar area between 7am-7pm. I found this out when I got to the hotel and checked in. We used it a couple of mornings and the most we ever waited for it to come was 15 minutes. If you dont mind having to share your shuttle van with other hotel guests and making the occaisional side stop then you should definitely use it.

The staff: The staff was really helpful. The front desk staff spoke English. Some of the other staff couldnt speak English at all but they were all friendly and made the effort to talk to me when they saw me trying to speak Spanish. One day I told the shuttle van driver that we wanted to go see the ruins at Tulum and asked him to take us to the bus station because I thought that was the only cheap way to get there. Luckily he drove us to the Collectivos stop (they are vans that are commonly used by the locals to get around Playa del Carmen and nearby towns. We got on a collectivo that went to Tulum. It stopped right in front of the entrance to the ruins and we only paid $2.50 US each.

Overall, if you dont mind not being right on beach then you should definitely stay at this hotel. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a great vacation without paying a lot.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JANT77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2008

We were in this hotel for 3 nights. In short:

1) Getting there: even though is very easy once you have found it (it doesn´t come in the maps you are given in the airport or in the rental car company), was a little bit difficult, since roads in Mexico are a little bit caotic and then it took us a couple of turns and a some questioning the peds to get there.

2) Hotel: Very nice looking and new. Although the real swimming-pool has nothing to do with the ones you can see in the pics. Who wants a swimming-pool having the Caribbean???

3) Room: New furniture and LCD TV. Very clean. The bathroom was a little bit too small but the shower was very good. The bed was excellent as well. However, it was very noisy. You can hear anyone talking in the hallway, no matter the level of their voices. The elevator has a very disturbing noise when it opens the door, just like a little music tone that is played continuously. It can get to be very annoying when you are trying to sleep.

4) Breakfast: Poor Continental. A few croissants, cereals and milk. Coffee not bad though. Almost no fruit.

5) Distance to the beach and to the downtown. Far. You could walk but I guess it might take about half an hour to get to the heart of the 5th ave. and to the beach.

6) Parking: Always controlled and wide enough.

7) Staff. Some were very nice, some weren´t as nice. I must remark that they did not wake us up when we asked to do it the day we had to leave. Fortunately, we woke up on time to get the airplane.

Conclusions:

- Good hotel. Clean and new. Good price too.
- Don't forget: getting a room far from the elevator and bringing your own alarm clock or similar.
- Rent a car. It is the easiest way to move around (watch out for the police, they are more dangerous than the traffic itself, so always have a $5 bill in the pocket ready to bribe them)

Enjoy!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Javi F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Magic Express

Address: SMz 13 Mza 58 Calle 54 Norte Lt 1 | Between Diagonal Norte 55, Colonia El Pedregal, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #160 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $48 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Magic Express 2.5*
Number of rooms: 97
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Magic Express Hotel offers you accommodation for business and pleasure travelers, not far away from the thrilling atmosphere from Playa del Carmen. From the main highway Cancun-Tulum, which takes you directly to Cancun International Airport (55 km), it is easy to access to the hotel facilities. Plaza Las Americas, one of the most important shopping centers in the city, is just 1.5 Km away. The 98 bedrooms in the building are equipped with Cable TV, telephone, air conditioning, free access to the WiFi Network, hair dryer, iron and iron board by request. Safe box is also available with additional cost. Continental breakfast is included in the rate. You can find as well a bar where you can enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic including snacks. Conference and events rooms are available at request for a capacity for up to 80 attendees. During the day you may want to spend your free time at the Beach Club, where you can redeem a bargain by showing the hotel's room access card. Additional info: swimming pool, gym public PC with Internet (additional charge $), bell-boy, late check-out ($ additional charge per hour, if available), early check-in if possible due to occupancy, luggage storage, ice machine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Magic Express Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Magic Express Playa Del Carmen
Hotel Magic Express Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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